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Lancet. 2008 May 31;371(9627):1861-71. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60800-4.

Tick-borne encephalitis.

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Department of Medicine and Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Institute, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.


We review the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of tick-borne encephalitis, and summarise biological and virological aspects that are important for understanding the life-cycle and transmission of the virus. Tick-borne encephalitis virus is a flavivirus that is transmitted by Ixodes spp ticks in a vast area from western Europe to the eastern coast of Japan. Tick-borne encephalitis causes acute meningoencephalitis with or without myelitis. Morbidity is age dependent, and is highest in adults of whom half develop encephalitis. A third of patients have longlasting sequelae, frequently with cognitive dysfunction and substantial impairment in quality of life. The disease arises in patchy endemic foci in Europe, with climatic and ecological conditions suitable for circulation of the virus. Climate change and leisure habits expose more people to tick-bites and have contributed to the increase in number of cases despite availability of effective vaccines. The serological diagnosis is usually straightforward. No specific treatment for the disease exists, and immunisation is the main preventive measure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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